A relatively quiet Tuesday on the recruiting trail still resulted in some positive news for the Buckeyes, as defensive line coach Larry Johnson helped put the program in good position for a blue-chip prospect along the defensive front four. Plus, a Nashville standout is eyeing a return visit to Columbus in the near future.
Smith narrows recruitment to 16
There has been no shortage of suitors for 2024 four-star defensive lineman Nigel Smith II of Melissa (TX) as he has piled up over 35 offers from programs across the country.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder would ultimately decide on Tuesday that he was prepared to narrow things down, and now just 16 schools remain in the running for the Texas standout.
Four-Star DL Nigel Smith has narrowed his 35+ offer list down to 1️⃣6️⃣ Schools!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) February 8, 2023
The 6’5 255 DL from Melissa, TX is ranked as a Top 50 Player in the ‘24 Class (No. 6 DL)
Where Should He Go? https://t.co/4mb7ZQUOnt pic.twitter.com/57ppJLzER5
As seen above, the Buckeyes are one of the 16 schools that remain a real option for Smith. Ohio State will have 15 schools in their way, and with the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, and more being included in the group, it won’t be an easy task.
It also speaks to the talent of Smith, as blue bloods from coast to coast are aiming to bring him into their respective program. Smith is currently graded as a Top 50 prospect in the class as he stands at No. 36 overall player. Among defensive lineman in the class, Smith slots in as the sixth highest graded of the bunch. The Sunshine State talent also grades as the fifth best player from Texas.
Spillman set to return to Columbus
According to Bucknuts, newly hired graduate assistant and Ohio State great James Laurinaitis was “quickly in touch” with 2024 four-star linebacker Edwin Spillman of Lipscomb Academy (TN) since returning to Columbus.
Bucknuts continued by saying Spillman, a Nashville native, will soon return to the Buckeyes campus. The 6-foot-1, 216-pounder was last in Columbus in April of last year, according to his Twitter account.
Spillman is a prospect that was long on the Ohio State radar as they offered him way back in June of 2021 — one of his first few offers he received as a prospect. Now with the addition of Laurinaitis to the coaching staff, there seems to be some added attention given to the Tennessee standout.
Spillman currently grades out as the No. 166 prospect overall in the class. Despite Tennessee being the 247Sports Crystal Ball favorite, it won’t stop the Buckeyes pursuit of the No. 16 highest graded linebacker in the class and the second best player from the Volunteer State.
- 2024 three-star running back Sam Williams-Dixon of West Holmes (OH) took to Twitter on Tuesday that his recruitment is “still 100% wide open.” The Millersburg native added an offer from the Buckeyes last month and intends to trim down his list after spring practices.
- According to Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch, Ole Miss transfer cornerback Davison Igbinosun has officially enrolled at Ohio State. The SEC freshman all-American with the Rebels announced his commitment to the Buckeyes at the conclusion of last month.
- 2024 interior offensive lineman Marc Nave of Central Catholic (OH) received an invite to the Polynesian Bowl on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder is currently projected to chose the Buckeyes when all is said and done as the home team is the favorite on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.